Ulema now demand expulsion of Taslima Nasreen - Let's defend her right to live & speak in peace

"She is spreading anti-Muslim feeling in the country and should be told to leave the country immediately" Noori Miyan. But he and his followers are contributing to the spread of anti-Muslim prejudice. Defenders of democracy should make it clear to the ulema that they are fuelling the growth of communal hatred. This is not in the interests of Muslims as a community nor of their fellow-Indians. Do they have nothing better to do than keep hounding a writer for her views? Is it against the law to criticise Islam (if indeed she is doing so)? Are we to be hounded, threatened & punished for criticising religion? Do clerics have the right to attack someone's freedom of speech? The ulema have done this repeatedly, including preventing Salman Rushdie from attending the Jaipur Literature Festival and sabotaging academic research on Rushdie. Their fanatical & intolerant ideas are a menace to democracy. They are free to preach & practice religion - but indulgence in intimidation undermines democracy itself. 

Yet again, their 'sentiments' are offended - but there is no such thing as a right not to be offended.  I can do nothing if my sentiments are offended by the rantings of religious fanatics. Without blasphemy the human mind would atrophy. Those who value secular ideals should defend Taslima against this relentless & vicious campaign

See: Taslima moves Supreme Court against FIR over tweet // SC accords protection to Tasleema Nasreen from arrest
Communal fanatics continue their assault on free speech & expression - Kolkata TV serial based on Taslima Nasrin's script put off indefinitely

BAREILLY: On the last day of annual Urs-e-Razwi of Imam Ahmed Raza, commonly known as Aala Hazrat, a Muslim cleric drew support of lakhs of Ulemas for expulsion of Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the community. Hasan Raza Khan alias Noori Miyan, who had lodged a police complaint against Nasrin on December 4, said the author had hurt the religious feelings and launched a campaign against her with thousands of Ulemas, who had gathered at the Islamia College ground, raising their hands in support. "She is spreading anti-Muslim feeling in the country and should be told to leave the country immediately. We would soon stage a series of protests against Nasrin. If needed, we will go to Supreme Court for her expulsion from India," said Noori Miyan who is son of the Sajjadanasheen of Bareilly"s Aala Hazrat Dargah, Maulana Subhan Raza Khan. Nasrin had criticised on Twitter a meeting between Aam Aadmi Party- founder Arvind Kejriwal and Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, a mufti who had issued a fatwa against her in 2007 for the writer"s staunch pro-woman stance. Noori had lodged an FIR against Taslima for using abusive language against Muftis and hurting the feelings of Muslims. Similarly, Noori"s uncle Tauqeer Raza Khan, the chief of Ittehad-e-Millat Council (IMC) had allegedly announced a reward of Rs five lakh on Nasrin"s head if she remains in India. On December 17, the Supreme Court ordered UP Police not to take any coercive action against the author in connection with the FIR filed against her.

Taslima moves Supreme Court against FIR over tweet

'POSTPONING' OF A TV SERIAL SCRIPTED BY TASLIMA NASREEN AND THE REFUSAL OF THE INTELLIGENTSIA TO SPEAK OUT FOR HER Who exactly are these vocal opponents of Taslima Nasreen’s serial being shown publicly? Whenever one finds self-appointed spokespersons indulging in shrill rhetoric, it is useful to study their antecedents. Abdul Aziz of Milli Ittehad Parishad and Mohammad Quamruzzaman of the All Bengal Minority Youth Federation are two prime examples who have been extraordinarily active in running the Taslima-denunciation industry in West Bengal. Both these organizations share another distinction. They led a mass-meeting earlier this year in Calcutta protesting the punishment of Islamist leaders of Bangladesh who had directly committed crimes against humanity during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Thus those who defended rapists and mass murderers of 1971 (the victims were Bengalis, of whom a significant proportion were Muslims) have taken upon the mantle of community guardianship of Muslims in West Bengal. It cannot be clearer what kind of interest these folks represent. To even consider that such elements represent the interests of the Muslims of West Bengal is tantamount to insulting the intelligence and humanity of the community... Calcutta’s intelligentsia and youth, once known to take to the streets and chant songs to protest the muzzling of Paul Robeson, a black-American singer and artist, has had nothing but silence to offer on this one. The current and the erstwhile rulers, the Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M) respectively, seem to be competing with each other in setting a record on muzzling free speech at the instigation of groups in whose worldview free speech has no place. While there may be short-term electoral gain for such posturing, this race to the bottom has no winners. The loser is the idea of a free and democratic society where dialogue and understanding is privileged over violence to ‘solve’ differences...

See also:
Prof Irfan Habib's remark on AMU minority character causes stir
Javed Anand - Ms Wadud, we are ashamed

Joint Statement of Religious Leaders On “Supreme Court order on Section 377”
Academic research on Rushdie's literary work sabotaged by Deoband Ulema
Two persons arrested for Facebook post on Mumbai shutdown after Bal Thackeray's death
Call on the Catholic Archdiocese of Bombay to encourage the withdrawal of complaints against Indian Rationalist Sanal Edamaruku
LUMS fires Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy

Maryam Namazie: Defend Bangladesh's Bloggers
Tableeghi Jamaat members can knock at any door anywhere in the West. But Christian missionaries cannot proselytize the Muslim world
‘Freedom to criticize religion is a touchstone of free expression’ - Interview with Gilbert Achcar
 WOLE SOYINKA: Religion Against Humanity
IHEU Freedom of Thought Report 2013: Death penalty for atheism in 13 countries

Salman Rushdie - ON CENSORSHIP

Communal fanatics continue their assault on free speech & expression - Kolkata TV serial based on Taslima Nasrin's script put off indefinitely

Salman Rushdie - We're all too easily offended these days
VHP disrupts Hyderabad's Kashmir Film Festival
Gita Sahgal - Bangladesh: Blasphemy, Genocide and Violence Against Women
Taslima Nasreen - ‘Religion Is The Biggest Bane For Any Democracy’
Syed Badrul Ahsan calls for Taslima's return - Our writers, our moral parameters

New Age Islam Website Is Banned In Pakistan
Taksim, Convergence, and Secular Space // Turkey, the end of Islamism with a human face
Khaled Ahmed - A culture of haters
Khaled Ahmed - Rollback nations (NEWSWEEK PAKISTAN)
Interview with Karima Bennoune, author of 'Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here'
Woman filmmaker in Iran sentenced to 18 months in prison
The religious persecution of Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd (1945-2010)/ Interview: My life fighting intolerance/ Mahmoud Mohammed Taha & the Second Message of Islam

Mahmoud Mohammed Taha (Author of Second Message of Islam); also known as Ustaz Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, was a Sudanese religious thinker, leader, and trained engineer. He was executed for apostasy at the age of 76 by the regime of Gaafar Nimeiry(See his Court statement)
THE MODERATE MARTYR - A radically peaceful vision of Islam

Najam Sethi - Pakistan: Pluralism and tolerance

Unfortunately, attempts to rationalize and modernize our education system have continuously foundered on the rock of misplaced, conservative or politically motivated religious elements in society..Two such cases have caught headlines recently. The first is an attempt by Imran Khan's PTI government in KPK to undo the rational cleansing of the textbooks by the previous ANP government by reinserting nations of jihad and "Islamic" vice and virtue into the curricula. The second is an attempt by a section of the media to devalue the teaching of "comparative" religion in schools in which the values of relative compassion, mutual respect and human dignity common to all religions are emphasized

We are secular Muslims, and secular persons of Muslim societies. We are believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between the free and the unfree. // We affirm the inviolable freedom of the individual conscience. We believe in the equality of all human persons. // We insist upon the separation of religion from state and the observance of universal human rights. // We find traditions of liberty, rationality, and tolerance in the rich histories of pre-Islamic and Islamic societies. These values do not belong to the West or the East; they are the common moral heritage of humankind.  We see no colonialism, racism, or so-called "Islamaphobia" in submitting Islamic practices to criticism or condemnation when they violate human reason or rights...

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